VILNIUS – Suggestions by some Western politicians and experts that Ukraine should cede part of its territory to make peace with Russia are dangerous for Lithuania, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Thursday.
"They are dangerous for us, Lithuania, because they normalize not only relations with the regime [of Russian President Vladimir Putin], but also normalize what that regime is doing," Landsbergis told reporters.
"This is a very strong signal to all other aggressors, potential criminals, that if you commit a crime and you are not swept away in three months, then everything is fine, everything can stay that way", he said.
According to Lithuania's top diplomat, the proposals to cede part of Ukraine's territory to Russia are aimed at normalizing the current situation.
"It seems to me that this is a very dangerous trend," Landsbergis said. "On one hand, we say that the Putinist regime that rules Russia today is a genocidal regime that is ready to wipe people out just because they belong to one or another nation."
"Any normalization with this regime is incomprehensible to me," he said. "Statements by Kissinger and by heads of state in that direction are fundamentally inadequate to the reality we see today," he added.
The minister stressed that the end of the war must be declared in Kyiv.
"Kyiv will say when and under what conditions the war is over for them. No Western country, no country in the world can speak for them, because Ukrainians are paying for this war in blood," he said.
Henry Kissinger, a former US secretary of state, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week that Ukraine should cede part of its territory to Russia to end the war, and warned that a humiliating defeat for the Kremlin could result in wider destabilization.
According to Kissinger, a return to the "status quo" before Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine would be ideal.
"Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante," he said.
Russia formally annexed Crimea in 2014 and pro-Moscow separatist groups took control of Ukraine's easternmost regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.